President Uhuru Kenyatta with Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery (Centre) and National Counter Terrorism Centre Director Amb Martin Kimani during the launch of the National Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism at State House Nairobi. Photo/ PSCU
Terrorism has multiple causes, however, all terrorists share one common objective, killing and harming innocent civilians for their cause.
The Republic of Kenya’s unique social, cultural, religious, political, psychological, and economic aspects factor emergence of diverse genera of terrorists.
The convergence of these negative factors require an equally diverse counter-terrorism strategy. A Diverse strategy identifies threats posed by terrorists based on typologies or generic profiles of terrorists. As such, each aspect of the strategy focuses on a unique typology of terrorists.
Recent events in Kenya signals existence of a diverse intelligence led counter-terrorism strategy. Closure of radicalization and indoctrination into terror cells and groups in East Africa by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) is indicative of a successful multifaceted strategy.
The Intelligence Service has also profiled dozens of terror recruitment agents operating on the cyber-space and several have been arrested.
HUMINT operations targeting terror cells operated by the Somali Islamist group Harakat Al Shabaab Al Mujahideen were scaled up since Q4-2014 throughout 2015.
Increased army operations against the Somali Islamist, besides border operations by special army units, and the Rapid Deployment Unit to stymie proliferation of the border by the terror groups are paying off.
“We have killed dozens of key Al Shabaab terrorists, more than 50 have been arrested and are facing cases in court, nearly a hundred are on the terror watch-list, while key terror cells in East Africa are being closely monitored by intelligence services. On the other hand, nearly over a hundred members of the terror group Al Shabaab have denounced terror and surrendered to the state.”
Robust & Diverse Strategy to Counter Asymmetrical Terror Threats
The role of the intelligence service is to identify and provide effective counter intelligence on threats on national security, as such the intelligence service is limited in its counter-intelligence operations. It depends on the police service to effectively neutralize the threats.
The Security Intelligence Services recommended a robust homeland security policy, public awareness, effective law enforcement, and most important, inter-agency coordination to achieve effective counter-terrorism.
Kenya’s strategy focuses on both preempting the threat posed by radicalization and the threat of terrorism. In-fact the core objective of the strategy is to secure civilians and the property of the country from destruction by terrorists.
The government is ensuring the identification and destruction of conditions that create and facilitate terrorism.
Devolution is playing a key role in making conditions such as economic, political, and social negatives, become impossible to exploit for terrorists.
However, this diverse strategy does not exclude the use of force to enforce law and safe gaurd human life and protect property of the Kenyan’s.
SOURCE: Strategic Intelligence Service